BBC Radio 4 has a series called “Great Lives”. The latest episode focused on the man who was probably the greatest evolutionary biologist in the second half of the 20th century, Bill Hamilton. His scientific papers are rather difficult to understand, being largely mathematical. But his ideas, in particular those leading to his theory of kin selection as an explanation of altruism, have been amazingly influential. Richard Dawkins, who popularised Hamilton’s ideas (without the maths) in The Selfish Gene, is on excellent form in this programme, together with Hamilton’s sister, Dr Mary Bliss. 30 minutes of excellent listening.

Click here to listen.


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